Snippets #12

No Plot? No Problem!- Chris Baty

With back-to-back novelizing failures to my credit, “exuberant imperfection” started seeming less like a panic-free way to get monumental tasks accomplished and more like a surefire way to make me feel like a moron. Not bring if I wrote crap and stumbling into passable prose was exhilarating. Not caring if I wrote crap and getting exactly that for two years in a row was demoralizing.

Just as I was about to drop my laptop into a trash compactor, though, a friend of mine sent me some quotes from the celebrated graphic designer Bruce Mau. One of which struck pretty close to home.

“Love your experiments (as you would an ugly child0,” Mau’s maxim went. “Exploit the liberty in casting your work as beautiful experiment, iterations, attempts, trials, and errors. Take the long view and llow yourself the fun of failure every day.”

As corny as it sounds, those words changed the way I looked at my two crapulent works of fiction. As literature, they were ugly as sin. As experiments, though, they were packed with a beautify , useful array of wrong turns, misguided decisions, and shameful flops. From those experiments, I discovered copious amounts about what I shouldn’t be writing. This allowed me to spend my fourth and with novels in the happy pursuit of what I should.


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